Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)  (Read 10010 times)

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #135 on: 2020-01-24, 03:45:21 PM »
All the talk over on the SH sweet potato threads has me getting anxious for my next season to start. Thought I would quote a post from there with a link to a video on the topic I'd seen a while back but it interesting.

Hi all
This is a great lecture on sweet potato breeding. The nuts and bolts start at about time 28 minutes...enjoy  :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdzh0GTSJU0

I didn't watch it all again cause I'v seen it before and I'm on a metered internet connection but the part starting there and running a few minutes does cover a lot. I wanted to mention it cause it highlights one significant difference to my approach.

I don't use grafting or any other method to induce flowering. My little side project involving grafting is to try to make an inter-species hybrid. My primary goal is an annual seed grown sweet potato line. I don't try to force flowers on an uncooperative line cause I don't want that trait carried in the offspring. I think that is very different from their program because they are looking for the next great one to patent and propagate by vegetative clones from then on, they don't care if it makes seeds or not.

I do feel that fellows pain though when it comes to collecting seeds and am moving more to the trellising method myself, beats the heck out of stooping over and looking for seeds everyday for two or three months.

A lot of the other things are similar too, the mass polycross of elite lines and so on, and I like to introduce new (to me) varieties when possible but if they don't flower I don't keep them.

Still at least two months before I can get started on mine this year  :P

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #136 on: 2020-02-06, 06:02:13 PM »
I like the new forum structure where I can get my sweet potato fix all in one spot. Counting the days till my next season starts.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #137 on: 2020-02-19, 08:05:25 AM »
I got my saved roots out last evening to see how they are holding up in storage. Pretty good overall it looks like, there's a couple that look a little puny but no big loss. They are mostly on the small side cause I discovered a while back that little ones keep and sprout just as good as bigger ones so we eat the big ones. That's them at the bottom of the post. I'm undecided, as usual on how to proceed this year.

Option one is to do more or less like last year which is to grow mostly clones of saved roots along with some new varieties. Sandhill has a couple I've wanted but were not available till now so I already filled out my order. This option has potential to bring some more diversity into my grex and probably the best thing to do. All these saved roots are my own originally seed grown but a couple have been cloned for two or three years. Some are newly sprouted last year. . All made nice clumps of roots and all are very seedy, some are likely self compatible but were grown all together so no idea which they might be. Most of last years new varieties provided pollen and made seeds so are now in my grex but I didn't keep them to clone.

Option two is what I really want to do but suppose I'll push it off another year. That is to cold frame plant about 500 seeds and direct sow about a 1000 and then select the top 50 - 100 fastest sprouting and most vigorous seedlings to grow out. Then out of them select just the top 5 - 10 to clone for backcrossing the next year, not saving any of the older clones. 
Criteria for those would be:
*flowering and seed set
*clump root growth
*preferred but not exclusively bushy vines
*overall production by weight
*fast maturity to useful sized roots
*flavor

I end up discarding lots of what might be worthwhile new varieties but nothing I can do about it. I just don't have space and not set up legally to sell or even give away live plant material other than to friends or family in my own area and so far there hasn't been much interest. I want a reliable seed grown variety, not new clones. Sure still have the option too, but permanently eliminate the necessity of storing roots or keeping live cuttings.  I'm not worried about losing those like Bushy Bloomer cause research I've read and my own observation shows that flowering and seed production just increases in successive generations. All I got to do is sufficiently marry it to good, short season production.

Seed to seed and food in 100 days or less!
« Last Edit: 2020-02-19, 08:26:29 AM by reed »

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #138 on: 2020-02-19, 12:36:51 PM »
That criteria list is exactly what I will be looking to myself as well.  And as for the bushy vine types, ive really seen the difference between the running and bushy types this summer, Bbcuzzie and a non flowering clone are bushy but Bbc doesn't do well here, better for Chris up north, the bushy non flowering clone is a vigorous grower, its growing on a mound of soil atm so it will produce a good crop, but again I wont be keeping it,
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.

Chris Morrison

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #139 on: 2020-02-19, 06:48:30 PM »
'Seed to Feed' in 100 days is a great goal.
I am now interested in color intensity also, as I was very interested in the Cornel Video, that discussed the use of SP for natural food coloring. I think that is a huge opportunity, and one where 100% of the crop can be utilized, without fussing over 'market optics'.
Mark - are the BB roots deeply purple? I guess i will know in a couple months. It is a very bushy type, I do prefer non-spreading types. My natives are going wild, even growing into the neighbours!

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #140 on: 2020-02-19, 10:10:30 PM »
That's the thing like about the bushy types Chris is they are not invasive. 
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #141 on: 2020-02-20, 12:13:49 AM »
Mine that I called BB are purple skin but white inside. I had solid purple ones show up a couple years ago but roots were were on the small side and they had blemishes that none of the others ever had so I didn't keep them, don't remember what the vines were like on those. 

I don't remember seeing the info on using them for coloring but pretty much the whole plant is edible but I think the leaves on some have an off putting quality. Supposed to be real good for you though, more so that spinach.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-20, 12:19:39 AM by reed »

Chris Morrison

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #142 on: 2020-02-20, 02:11:15 AM »
From about the 46 minute mark FYI   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdzh0GTSJU0

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #143 on: 2020-02-20, 07:50:05 AM »
I watched that sometime back but had forgotten about most of, need to take time and see it again. Something else I had forgot that might change what I said before is what Carol Deppe said abut corn. Some sprouts grow roots first and some shoots so you shouldn't be to aggressive on culling what appears to be smaller, slower seedlings. If that's true for corn in might be true for other things.

So when I get to my goal of starting lots of seeds I need to keep that in mind, the first and biggest above ground may not necessarily be the best.  Fortunately sweet potatoes are extremely easy to transplant and extremely tolerant of root disturbance so should be easy enough to just dump them out and see any difference in early root growth. Of course that will open more questions like, does one with fast early roots have the clump trait I like or might it be a spreader, which I don't like? O'well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I reckon.

Chris Morrison

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #144 on: 2020-02-20, 11:04:37 AM »
I also found this vid interesting. She is getting seed from Okinawan, which is one we are growing (has flowered but not set seed (yet) for us here).
They are white skinned , mottles purple flesh BUT turn solid purple when cooked.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_1BCgTwwQ8

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #145 on: 2020-02-20, 12:10:59 PM »
Interesting, but starting about 3:00 in, pretty sure those aren't sweet potatoes, they are morning glories. I wonder if the sweet potatoes themselves did actually make seeds.  If they were an accidental cross like she mentioned that would be very interesting, but it's unlikely.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-20, 12:14:50 PM by reed »

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #146 on: 2020-02-20, 12:18:26 PM »
What can be a running type can be a clumper the next year. The clone that grew in the tunnelhouse all last summer was a runner, this year though its very compact, its the non flowering one which its tubers are lifting the soil into a mound, it had a small tuber in spring when it was planted outside.
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #147 on: 2020-02-20, 12:26:42 PM »
Interesting, but starting about 3:00 in, pretty sure those aren't sweet potatoes, they are morning glories. I wonder if the sweet potatoes themselves did actually make seeds.  If they were an accidental cross like she mentioned that would be very interesting, but it's unlikely.
Yes they looked so different.
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #148 on: 2020-02-21, 07:15:16 AM »
For your viewing enjoyment, "How to Make New Sweet Potatoes", a short film starring Betsy the bee.

https://video.wixstatic.com/video/c76d41_26c4b748958547d185299f3e1e7c0049/480p/mp4/file.mp4

The plant involved is one of the two volunteers that came up beside each other but a good distance from the other patch. They were both non-self compatible but compatible with each other.

I know that because as you can see Betsy is very methodical, she visits a flower and another one close by rather than flying around at random. Those two plants were comingled on one side but spread out so the outer edge of each was slightly isolated from the other. There was a very noticeable difference in seed set with pretty much all flowers pollinated in the part where the two comingled and fewer on the other edges. 

Lesson from that is make sure plants you want to cross are well mixed up. Otherwise the bee will visit all the flowers on one before moving to the next and pollination will be far lower. If an isolated or even semi-isolated plant makes lots of seed then it is self compatible.
« Last Edit: 2020-02-21, 08:56:47 AM by reed »

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #149 on: 2020-02-21, 02:45:30 PM »
And I noticed the bees know which flower they have already visited.
Changeable year round climate, less so summertime, warming winters - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps.